I was email-chatting with Robin M the other day, and he passed on a sentiment that I thought was worth sharing here. The more I thought about it, the more it rang true. For me at least.
The thought actually came from his brother-in-law, Phil, who owns a very fast Ford Cosworth. Phil’s a Ford guy and his car has featured in magazines and done some quite blistering times around the Nurburgring.
Phil came along with Robin to Trollhattan for the Saab Festival last month. I don’t know if that was his first exposure to Saab outside of the family relationship, but it appears that it was one that made him think. I don’t think he’s converting to Saab by any means, but I think the trip proved to be an eye-opener about a make of car that he probably hadn’t given too much thought to.
The thing that Phil related to Robin, which I’ll pass on to you here, is that most of the car guys he knows are right into one model of car, rather than being into the whole brand. The thing that he noticed at the festival is that even though Saab nuts might be right into the model that they own, there’s a wide ranging respect and affection for everything Saab’s done through their history.
And I think he’s spot on.
At the car show on the last day of the festival I saw 900 owners poring over old Saab 93s and all the variations of that that you can muster. Of course, everyone’s head turned when one of the original Sonetts went past. The older cars were treasured as they’re so few in number today, but any Saab at the show typically had at least one person checking it out at any given time.
Perhaps it’s one of those things about a company that didn’t change models too often. Instead, Saabs evolved and there were discernable links between all Saabs from 1967 to 1980 in the 92-96 range and 1967 to 1993 for the 99-900 range. Even the modern units share some of that unique lineage.
One of the great things about the festival was that the car was king for a week. Save for our families at home, there was little else that mattered.